Early Settlers [i]
Thousands of years before European settlers arrived in Eastern Kings, the area was home to the indigenous Mi’kmaq people. These people called East Point, Kespemenegek, meaning “end of and island”.
In the 1970’s and early 80’s, several archeological sites were excavated in Eastern Kings where ruminants of Mi’k Maq were found. The Wakelin Site, near Basin Head, was where it was determined that Mi’kmaq had hunted in that area over 2000 years ago. The area was most likely a seasonal hunting and fishing camp. In the summer, the Mi’kmaq would canoe across the strait from the mainland for the summer.
In 1980, the MacDonald Site uncovered more recent evidence of indigenous life in Eastern Kings, dating around 800 and 1000 AD. This spot was a more popular camping spot in the area which Mi’kmaq would camp at several times throughout the year, depending on how abundant the hunt was. Their major food source appears to have been seal in the late winter or early spring. Some of the seal may have been caught on shore, but most would have been harpooned from canoes on the water. Other animal bones found in the area, included beaver, otter, fox, turtle, and caribou. Remains of fish, such as salmon and flounder were found there too, and shellfish seems to have been an important part of the Mi’kmaq diet.
It’s believed that Mi’kmaq have been present on Prince Edward Island for over 10,000 years.
Under French rule, Pointe de l’Est was first mapped in 1686 by the King’s hydrographer, Jean-Baptist-Louis Franquelin of Acadia. In 1750, Pointe de l’Est was shortly known as Pointe Rouge, before the British Surveyor-General, Samuel Holland named it East Point in 1765.
In the French consensus of 1728, Francois Douville of St. Peter’s Harbour and Matthieu Turin of East Point was noted as the first known European settlers on the Island. They stated that they settled on the Island in 1719. However, in 1738, a massive fire destroyed much of Eastern Kings, including the French settlement.
After St. John’s Island was transferred to British rule, many families travelled across the Atlantic to begin a new life in the New World. Many of those original family names can still be found today in Eastern Kings; centuries of families having called this area home.
When the first British settlers arrived at North Lake after Louisburg was captured in 1759, French shallop or schooners were found there, indicating the area to have been a trading port.
Many of the families that belong to St. Columba parish can trace their roots back to the settlement of Glenaladale Estate in Tracadie and Savage Harbour. These were Highland Scots who arrived on the Island aboard The Alexander in 1772. Leaving the Tracadie area, the emigrant Scots moved out around the Island with many of them going to the eastern end.
In 1805, a Mr. Peebles and John Ford Sr. arrive at East Point after being granted government land there. Ford originated in Falkirk, Scotland and served in Halifax, N.S. with the 42nd Highlanders.
In 1808, the first settlers arrived in Kingsboro, then called West River. Their names: McLane, Kennedy, MacDonald, Stewart and Munns. Two years later, in 1810, Duncan Stewart and
In 1810, Duncan Stewart and Donald MacDonald arrive in Kingsboro from Pethshire, Scotland.
In 1817, The Scotts, Frazers and another Duncan arrive in Munns Harbour, now Kingsboro.
In 1818, Duncan Robertson Sr. and wife arrived from Perthshire after staying a short time with relatives in Nova Scotia.
The Rose and Baker families came from Dorsetshire, England. Peter Rose arrived at North Lake in 1790 as assistant to Captain Minwarren. A few years later, he sent a letter to his brother in England to join him in the New World. In 1804, Sampson Rose arrived at North Lake with wife, Elizabeth Baker and her cousin James Baker.
The Bruce families in Eastern Kings are descendants of two brothers from Caithnesshire, Scotland who arrived in the area in 1840.
For a map of Lots 46 and 47 from the Atlas of Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada and the World, please click here. The map shows the family names present on each land lot; many of which still own the land today.